Whole 30 – I’m Making My Own Rules

I promise, this blog isn’t going to turn all crazy-healthy on you anytime soon, but I do have plenty to say on Whole 30 right now. We’ve got some great books to talk about, some lists to share, oh, and a birthday cake (!), promise.

But for now, I’m on Whole 30. Happy Day 1 to me. I’ve never done it before, but it’s popped up enough in my social media feeds that I’ve checked it out, and the spirit has moved me, and here we all are. There are a couple of reasons I’m excited about this approach to eating. The first is that according to the official Whole 30 website, you’re not supposed to weigh yourself before or after the month. I’m not doing this to lose weight, I’m doing this because gracious, I eat so much crap that I need a reset. Not a “diet,” in the traditional sense. I also like Whole 30 because it’s 30 days. The point of the program isn’t to convert its followers to a carb- sugar- and dairy-free lifestyle. It’s to get your body used to whole foods, and then to slowly reintroduce the crap you want when it’s all over. (Of course, one possible benefit is that you may not want to reintroduce the crap in such vast quantities, and wouldn’t that be lovely?)

But I am absolutely making a couple little changes to the rules that are going to make this much more doable for me. And I decided that’s completely okay. Without trying to sound like a martyr here, I will say that my life is not completely about me anymore. Since having Gooplet, he comes first, and that leaves a lot less time for poring through Pinterest, searching for meal ideas. I want to be healthier, but I can’t dedicate the same kind of time to that pursuit that I once could. No more barre 5 times a week.  No one is more sad about that than my missing abs, but that’s too bad for them. I’ll find them some other time.

So, my bending of the rules:

Coffee:  Coffee is okay on Whole 30, as long as it’s not sugared or dairy-ed up. Oooooh, except that is my favorite kind of coffee in the world. I found an iced almond milk latte at the grocery store that has 4 g of sugar per serving. I’m going for it. I’ll reevaluate that choice in two weeks when people swear I may not even need coffee to get moving in the morning. You people sound crazy to me right now, but I’m willing to hear you out in a little while. 4 g. of sugar per day is approximately 1000 times less sugar than I’ve been eating, so I am certain I’ll still be okay.

Beans: You’re not supposed to eat legumes on Whole 30. I could look up why, but I don’t want to. I’m giving up pasta, bread, and rice. I’m ditching sugar and my beloved milk (RIP macaroni and cheese, and ice cream).  Beans are a thing that grows in nature. In order to eat them, you do nothing but soak and boil them in water. That seems harmless. This diet is restrictive enough, and I’ve got plenty of meals that would follow the rules, save for the beans. So I’ll just make them, and eat I’ll beans. We will all be okay.

The Bigger Picture: When it comes to beans, and any other spur of the moment decisions I make in the month ahead, I’m choosing to be kind to myself. I hope I don’t attack the pasta that’s still in my pantry in a fit of depravity, but I’m not ruling it out as a possibility. There’s one serving of yogurt left in my fridge, and it’s very likely I’ll throw it in a smoothie tomorrow morning rather than let it go bad. If I’m on the go with my beloved small child, and all can do is reach in the fridge and grab something before we get in the car, then that is what it is and I’ll eat it. I can’t be a good mom if I haven’t eaten lunch. So I will eat lunch.  (I am keeping some of his applesauce pouches in my bag for me, though.)

Wins of the Month, January, 2017


This post has been sitting, finished, in my drafts folder. It’s never too late to celebrate wins. Happy end of February, here’s why January was great.

  • Snuggled so many new babies
  • Read every day
  • Ordered new books as a reward for that (see above)
  • Donated a box of books to the library
  • Sent another bag out to the thrift store.
  • Brunched with Cari Faye for the first time in too long
  • Finally got onboard the unroll.me train
  • Pulled off a couple of full grocery hauls with Gooplet in tow

Wins of the Month – November, 2016

Why yes, we are almost finished with December, but there is absolutely no way I am skipping celebrating November’s wins.

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November wins:

  • Hosting a soiree at Casa Glass of Milk in honor of AGOMYR.  Love her.
  • Organizing a group effort for a homeless dinner, and celebrating said dinner with a pizza party of our own.
  • Giving a new family a couple of freezer meals.
  • Remembering to drink water before coffee.
  • Making it to a cocktail party!
  • Bringing Gooplet to his first basketball game.
  • Cooking Thanksgiving dinner with a baby underfoot.

October Wins//September Wins

Thursday Check In – Two Things

I’ve talked at length about my love of Whitney English and her Day Designer.  She ran a series on planning on both Periscope and Facebook Live that I enjoyed over a series of nap times.  I highly recommend it if you’re someone who is either a) already super into planners and schedules and systems, and that kind of thing or b) someone who maybe wishes they were, but needs more information.

Regardless of where you fall on that continuum, Whitney said two things that I couldn’t get over.  Like, already changing my life, couldn’t get over.


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If it takes more than 20 minutes, it’s not a to-do, it’s a project.  Holy moly, people.  As a lifelong list maker, this one is a game changer.  And perhaps the answer to why a lot of my to-do’s remained undone at the ends of my days.  Twenty minutes is a reasonable amount of time for me to dedicate to almost anything on a given day.  Your number of minutes might be different.  But figure out what seems like a good amount of time to cross something off your list, and call anything that takes less time a to-do.  If it will take longer than that time, it’s a project, and you’ve gotta break that **** down.

I needed to order dinner for a group of 25 for an upcoming evening, and I knew exactly where it would come from and the specific foods I wanted.  I put the call in and it was done in 20 minutes.  To-do.  And I know that my on-going kitchen/pantry/dining room reorganizing is a project.  It’s a huge task, and would never make an appearance on a daily to do list.  But.  There are some in-between sized tasks that masqueraded as to-do’s, but were actually projects once I snapped awake and listened to Whitney.  So when I write “swap out Gooplet’s closet” on my to-do list, I’m setting myself up to fail.  I don’t have the uninterrupted time it takes to get that done.  I need to break it down.  Sort T-Shirts, sort pants, get out long sleeved outfits, store summer outfits, size up in PJs, etc.  Those I can do here and there, and with enough smaller chunks of time, the project will be done.

Schedule 30 minutes into each day to work on a project you’ve been avoiding.  Which for me, right now, is the ongoing struggle to get things that don’t belong in certain rooms out of said rooms.  It’s daunting.  It involves a million more trips up and down stairs than I care to take. It’s completely overwhelming.  This little sparkly piece of advice kicked my butt into gear, and also made me think of Elise.  Just start.  Also Mary Poppins. “Well begun is half done.”

Now, each day, I set my phone timer for 30 minutes and walk around the house, moving crap from one room to another.  That’s so much less daunting than thinking, I really should work on that giant project I don’t want to spend hours working on. About half the time, that 30 minutes ends and I am over it.  I move on with my life.  And the other half of the time, I keep going, not too much longer, but long enough to make a bit more headway.  And after only 7 days of chipping away, I’m so much farther along than I imagined I’d be at this point.

Got any other tips on making projects happen, dear readers? You could give me my next life-changer!

 

Baby Pictures

If you scroll through the pictures on my phone, they are an embarrassing smorgasboard of Gooplet photos.  Point and shoot, look at this adorable thing he just did (read: he blinked), photos.  It’s hard to take good pictures of babies.  Luckily, we have the Internet to give us some inspiration.  With great cameras no more than a phone’s reach away, I feel like some of these shots, or at least these angles, are possibilities for us.

smushy cheeks.:
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perspective.:

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light.:
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get down.:
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cozy.:
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Growing up.
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Other sources of inspiration:

Cup of Jo’s post, Tara Whitney (always and forever), You Are my Wild, and Best of Bookworms on Instagram

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Wins of the Month – September, 2016

After listening to Elise’s recent podcast about how she uses her Get to Work Book, I am on board to celebrate each month’s wins.  Her planner leaves a space for this*, and she explains why in her podcast:

“Sometimes our months pass in such a blur that we forget to celebrate these important wins.  It often feels like there is so much left on my plate, that I don’t even think about it; I don’t even think about what’s been done.”

Yes.

Yes, this.

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September wins:

  • Broke out my duck boots for the first time
  • Got plans in motion to host people at La Moneda for the first time in months
  • Ordered paper invitations for said event (Paperless Post forever)
  • Sent care packages to a handful of people I adore
  • Switched out my closet and Gooplet’s closet for cooler weather, and sent another huge bag off to ThredUp
  • Deep cleaned a bunch of things that were long overdue
  • Read 8 books!

*Elise also leaves a space for things you need to let go of at the end of every month, but that’s another post entirely.

 

Week in the Life, 2016

Back at the beginning of May, I gave Ali’s Week in the Life another go ’round.  The funny thing is, I rarely complete my Week in the Life album (yup, last summer’s is still up on my desk), but I love the idea of taking pictures here and there to document what life looks like at any given moment.

So this year’s Week in the Life looks hella different from 2015.  But, in a funny twist of fate, the two weeks couldn’t have been better planned (thanks, Ali!).  At the beginning of last year’s week in the life, I had just found out I was pregnant, and kicked things off with my first ultrasound. This year’s week finds me typing this post one handed while holding a napping seven-week-old, who doesn’t like me to put him down.  The times, they are a’changing.

And I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of things.  Ali says, “The truth, my friends, is that we never know when our “everyday” will change. Capture what it is real for you right now.”

She also tells me to look for rhythms and routines.  Oh, to live a life with those again!

Some highlights from the week…

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What our living room looks like right now.  I thought I knew clutter before.

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And our coffee table.

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Enjoying meals that friends and neighbors have been so kind to deliver.  And the ones who make enough so that we have leftovers are my favorites.

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A typical weekend involves mowing the lawn.  And now that there is a baby involved, we run out to the porch to catch a white-noise nap.

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Always reading, every day.

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The only thing we’ve managed to cook so far is Buitoni tortellini with store-bought pesto.  But I can envision the day we can make it a la Deb.

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Always internet scrolling.  Usually during the first nap of the day, which is short, and doesn’t give me enough time to do anything productive.

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Bouncing around the house, in hopes of keeping someone happy.

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Success!  We match more days than I’m comfortable admitting.

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So much porch time since we’ve had a rainy, cool spring.  Love that.

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Impulse purchases at Target.

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And the reason for the trip, my new planner. I bet I will always plan in school years.

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Every evening (read: witching hour), we stroll, in the name of keeping someone calm, and in hopes of catching one more quick nap.

IMG_1846.JPGStarting work on my album. 

On Habits

Tracy wrote about habits at the start of the year, and I love the idea.  Habits fascinate me.  If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know I am all about what makes the everyday the everyday.  What does my life look like, not necessarily in those special moments that (with any luck), I’ll remember forever, but in the 8 million more that make up most of life?

The idea of habits gets into the why.  If my life is stressful, what habits did I put in place that made it that way?  Which can I change?  Which am I stuck with?  If my life is feeling good, can I single out some habits that are contributing to that?

scrapbooking.

I started Gretchen Rubin’s book on habits, but ended up having to return it to the library before I finished (the story of my life).

matchy matchy.

So until I get around to checking it out again, and I promise I will, let’s check in on some of my habits.  I’m not claiming any of these as either good or bad; they’re simply a reflection of life right now.

shoes everywhere.

Right now, I go to Starbucks every work day.  Every single one, dear readers.  No shame here.

Right now, I read at least 30 minutes a day.  I wrapped up 2015 claiming I wouldn’t have a resolution, but I quickly realized that’s just not my style.  So I quickly swore I’d read every day in 2016.  Debating ordering one of these so I have a visual to keep me going.

Right now, I check Instagram as often as humanly possible.  And unlike Facebook, which I have always vowed to check much less often, there is not a single part of me that wants to cut down on my Insta scrolling.

Right now, I am trying desperately to get back in the habit of taking pictures of the stuff of life.  I was so good at this before we moved, and then we didn’t have a house and I just wasn’t feeling the everyday photo-taking.

Right now, it’s a good week if I can get to Pure Barre 3 times, and a great week if I can get there 4 (this week is shaping up to be great).

Right now, my meals are the most random.  About half the time I’m hungry for a real dinner, and the other half, I’ll make cereal or PB&J.

Right now, I get home from work and working out, figure out what’s for dinner, do any little chores I need to do, and then sit on the couch to watch Jeopardy with my husband.  It’s usually about 8:30 by the time this happens.

Right now, we are keeping our Sundays open.

Right now, I am figuring out a laundry routine.  I realized that I do the laundry in the basement, fold it on the first floor, and have to put it away on the second.  That process needs to be streamlined.

Right now, I’m making a little bit of time to play with my scrapbooks.

 

December

december intentions.

Alright, December, let’s do this.

You are not my favorite month, but I like you a lot.

You’re one of the busiest months of the year, and I fear if I don’t take the time to declare a couple of things right now, you’re going to slip away from me, like you always do.  So here are some things I’m thinking about December, and some things I’m vowing to do.

  • First and foremost, I will do nice things for other people.  This shouldn’t be the only time of year we say thank you to our mailmen, Starbucks morning team, Pure Barre managers, neighbors, and friends, but that doesn’t mean we should skimp out now.  I’m planning some small ways to sneak some thank yous into the month, and some bigger ways too.
  • I will take Sundays off.  December is the one month a year I solemnly swear to go to church every single week, because CHRISTMAS CAROLS, and Advent.  And after church every week, I will come home and do things like watch Netflix, or bake, or read and just all around rest on my laurels, because if the fall taught me anything, it’s that I know how to pack my calendar way too much and exhaust myself.  December shouldn’t feel like that.
  • I will mail cards to everyone I know and love, and hang the cards I get from them on my wall with washi tape.  (The first one is already up, dear readers, when can I expect yours?)
  • I will start an Advent calendar tradition.  Grandma Glass of Milk used to send one to me and Brother Bear each December, and I always looked forward to getting mine in the mail.  This one came from Target, and I spent an hour the other night filling it with something my husband and I can do each day to prepare for Christmas.
  • I will, of course, keep Larry the Elf, moving around the shelves of our house.  We have a whole new space filled with endless possibilities.  Ali has already sent me some inspiration for this year.  If you have any great ideas, dear readers, do keep me posted.  Follow me on Instagram to see where he hides this year.
  • And, finally, and this is where I might shock you, I will not buy gifts.  My family did away with gifts many years ago when we realized a) we were all adults, who b) had everything we needed.  I can’t tell you how much less stress there is during the holidays when you can focus on what matters, and not lean on gifts to prove affection.  I’m sorry if I sound like a Scrooge.  I dare you to try it.

 

Life Lately

salted caramel mocha.

I’ve switched to the salted caramel mocha as my Starbucks beverage du jour.  This is iced, which is what I got the first time I tried it.  Now that it’s colder I get hot.  I tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier this season and I literally could not even.

selfie.

We looked nice, so I took a selfie.

chubby hubby.

One of my favorite 11 year olds told me this was his favorite ice cream flavor, and I was inspired.

group text.

This is the Group Text.  It’s made up of me, The (Not So) New Girl, Ali, and CV(D).  Our group text starts at approximately 5 a.m. every morning when the firsts of us wake up, and ends around 11 p.m. when the lasts of us go to sleep.  They get me through everything.

crafternoon.

These ladies came over for a “crafternoon” last week to help me get ready for CV(D)’s shower.

shower.

Then everyone came over for CV(D)’s shower, and I’ll tell you about it soon.  Are you sick of seeing my island yet?  I’m not.

kennedy center.

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary.  Usually I do some sort of sappy post, but instead we celebrated by going to see Beautiful at the Kennedy Center.  I loved it, and now my favorite Pandora station is James Taylor and Carole King.